|Publication number||US7570481 B2|
|Application number||US 11/734,518|
|Publication date||Aug 4, 2009|
|Filing date||Apr 12, 2007|
|Priority date||Apr 12, 2007|
|Also published as||CA2629502A1, US20080253062|
|Publication number||11734518, 734518, US 7570481 B2, US 7570481B2, US-B2-7570481, US7570481 B2, US7570481B2|
|Inventors||Paul D. Seff, Alston G. Brooks, Gregory S. Nailler|
|Original Assignee||Eaton Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (23), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (5), Classifications (14), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The invention relates generally to power pedestals and, more particularly, to base assemblies for power pedestals.
2. Background Information
Electrical components (e.g., without limitation, relays; circuit breakers; electric meters; transformers; light fixtures; power receptacles; telephones; telephone and/or Internet service lines and electrical connectors therefor; television cables and electrical connectors therefor) used outdoors are typically housed within an enclosure, such as, for example, a housing, such as a box or cabinet, to protect the electrical components from the environment and to prevent electrical faults caused by moisture. In some applications, the outdoor electrical enclosure is mounted to another structure whereas in other applications the outdoor electrical enclosure is free-standing, meaning that it is generally independent from other structures.
One type of free-standing outdoor electrical enclosure, which is generally old and well known in the art, is the power pedestal. Power pedestals generally comprise an upstanding housing, the base of which is disposed on a dock, a pier, or any other suitable foundation (e.g., platform), and is structured to receive, for example and without limitation, power cables, telephone lines, television cables, Internet service lines, and water service lines. The housing is made from a weather-resistant material, such as a suitable plastic or metal (e.g., without limitation, stainless steel), and is designed to enclose the power cables, lines and other cables, and the electrical components, receptacles and connectors which are electrically connected to the lines, in order to shield and protect them from the environment. Accordingly, power pedestals are well suited for use in environments such as marinas and recreational vehicle (RV) parks, where they must remain outdoors exposed to environmental elements as they serve to provide plug-in power and/or connectivity (e.g., without limitation, telephone service; Internet service; cable television; water service), for example, for boats and RVs and other vehicles. Examples of power pedestals are provided in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,519,657; 4,546,418; 4,785,376; 4,873,600; and 4,951,182.
Accordingly, it will be appreciated that many of the locations and environments in which power pedestals are employed are subject to storm conditions (e.g., without limitation, hurricanes; tornadoes; cyclones; hail storms; thunderstorms; wind storms; ice storms; flooding). Therefore, it is desirable to be able to relatively quickly and easily remove at least a portion of the power pedestal in order to minimize damage that could otherwise be caused by the storm conditions. In an attempt to address this concern, one prior proposal has been to provide separable base and upper pedestal portions (e.g., housings) of the power pedestal. However, the aforementioned electrical components are typically hard-wired between these two portions, making it difficult to relatively quickly and easily separate them. Other known power pedestal designs incorporate a modular design in which some of the electrical components are substantially isolated in a relatively small module which is structured to be relatively quickly electrically connected and disconnected to and from, respectively, a corresponding receptacle disposed on the upper portion of the pedestal. While this enables some of the components of the power pedestal to be removed, for example, in anticipation of an imminent storm condition, the majority of the power pedestal remains exposed and thus is susceptible to potential damage caused the storm condition.
In an attempt to overcome the foregoing disadvantages, another prior proposal incorporates a plurality of electrical stabs and corresponding jaws in the upper pedestal portion and base portion, respectively, to enable the pedestal to be removed from the base. However, among other disadvantages, such a design increases the number of electrical and mechanical connections of the power pedestal. For example, each stab must be sufficiently electrically connected to its counterpart jaw, and the stabs and jaws must be suitably mechanically fastened to the corresponding base or upper pedestal portion. Stabs and jaws also present the potential for hot spots, arcing, and other electrical faults. This is particularly true, for example, if the pedestal is repetitively removed and installed with respect to the base, thereby decreasing the strength of the mechanical connection (e.g., press-fit) between the stabs and the jaws.
There is, therefore, room for improvement in power pedestals and in base assemblies therefor.
These needs and others are met by embodiments of the invention, which are directed to a base assembly for a power pedestal, which base assembly is structured to enable the majority of the power pedestal and electrical components thereof to be relatively quickly and easily removed, without compromising the integrity of the electrical and mechanical connections of the power pedestal during normal operation.
As one aspect of the invention, a base assembly is provided for a power pedestal including an elongated housing and a plurality of electrical conductors enclosable by the elongated housing. The elongated housing has a first end and a second end disposed opposite and distal from the first end. The base assembly comprises: a power pedestal base member comprising a first end and a second end disposed opposite and distal from the first end of the base member, the second end of the base member being structured to be coupled to a platform; and a connecting mechanism disposed at or about the first end of the base member and structured to removably couple the first end of the elongated housing to the base member without a number of separate fasteners, thereby facilitating removal of the elongated housing from the base member.
The base member may further comprise a mounting surface disposed on the first end of the base member, and an electrical bus mount removably coupled to the mounting surface. The electrical conductors may be a plurality of first electrical conductors and a plurality of second electrical conductors, wherein the first electrical conductors are structured to be substantially enclosed within the elongated housing and to be coupled to the electrical bus mount, and wherein at least one of the second electrical conductors is structured to extend from at or about the mounting surface and to be electrically connectable at the electrical bus mount to a corresponding one of the first electrical conductors. The first electrical conductors may be structured not to be independently directly connected to the base member, in order to further facilitate removal of the elongated housing and the first electrical conductors which are enclosed thereby.
The mounting surface of the base member may include a number of receptacles, and the electrical bus mount may include a number of tabs. At least one of the tabs may removably engage a corresponding one of the number of receptacles. When the elongated housing is removed from the base member, the electrical bus mount may be removable from the mounting surface of the base member, in order that the first electrical conductors and the electrical bus mount are structured to remain intact and to be removed with the elongated housing. The electrical bus mount may comprise a bottom end removably coupled to the mounting surface of the base member, a top end disposed opposite and distal from the bottom end, a first side, a second side, and a plurality of electrical terminals disposed at or about the top end. The first side may include a plurality of insulating barriers extending outwardly from the first side and further extending from at or about the top end toward the bottom end. Each of the insulating barriers may be disposed between a pair of the electrical terminals. At least one of the first electrical conductors may be structured to be electrically connected to a corresponding one of the electrical terminals of the electrical bus mount, and such one of the second electrical conductors may be structured to be electrically connectable at the corresponding one of the electrical terminals to the at least one of the first electrical conductors. The electrical bus mount may be a single-piece molded member wherein the bottom end, the top end, and the insulating barriers comprise molded portions of the single-piece molded member.
The connecting mechanism may comprise a hinge assembly, wherein the hinge assembly is structured to pivotably couple the base member to the first end of the elongated housing, in order that the elongated housing is pivotable with respect to the base member. The first end of the base member may have an edge, and the elongated housing may include at least one aperture disposed at or about the first end of the elongated housing. The hinge assembly may comprise at least one protrusion disposed at or about the edge of the first end of the base member and structured to be pivotably disposed in a corresponding one of the at least one aperture. The at least one aperture of the elongated housing may be a first recess and a second recess. The at least one protrusion may be a first molded hook and a second molded hook. The elongated housing may be pivotable among a first position in which the first molded hook is structured to pivotably engage the first recess and the second molded hook is structured to pivotably engage the second recess, and a second position in which the first molded hook is structured to be disengagable from the first recess and the second molded hook is structured to be disengagable from the second recess.
The base member may further comprise a removable cap wherein, when the elongated housing is removed from the base member, the removable cap is coupled to the base member in order to overlay the mounting surface.
As another aspect of the invention, a power pedestal comprises: an elongated housing including a first end and a second end disposed opposite and distal from the first end; a plurality of electrical conductors enclosable by the elongated housing; and a base assembly comprising: a base member comprising a first end and a second end disposed opposite and distal from the first end of the base member, and a connecting mechanism disposed at or about the first end of the base member and removably coupling the first end of the elongated housing to the base member without a number of separate fasteners, thereby facilitating removal of the elongated housing from the base member.
A full understanding of the invention can be gained from the following description of the preferred embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
Directional phrases used herein, such as, for example, left, right, top, bottom, upward, downward, inward, outward and derivatives thereof, relate to the orientation of the elements shown in the drawings and are not limiting upon the claims unless expressly recited therein.
As employed herein, the term “pedestal” or “pedestal member” shall mean an elongated generally upright structure.
As employed herein, the term “power pedestal” refers to a pedestal or pedestal member structured to enclose electrical components (e.g., without limitation, contactors; circuit breakers; electric meters; transformers; light fixtures; power receptacles; telephones; telephone and/or Internet service lines and electrical connectors therefor; television cables and electrical connectors therefor), and to input power from input power terminals (e.g., without limitation, utility power terminals) and output power to a number of output power receptacles. The power pedestal thus provides a power center for providing plug-in power and/or connectivity (e.g., without limitation, telephone service; Internet service; cable television; water service), for example, for a vehicle, such as for example and without limitation, a watercraft, such as a boat, wherein the power pedestal is disposed at or about a body of water (e.g., without limitation, a suitable platform in a marina), or for a land-based vehicle, such as a recreational vehicle (RV), wherein the power pedestal is disposed on a suitable land-based foundation (e.g., without limitation, a suitable platform in a camp ground).
As employed herein, the term “platform” shall mean a horizontal flat surface, a raised horizontal flat surface, or a dock (e.g., without limitation, a floating dock; a stationary dock; a pier).
As employed herein, the terms “storm” and “storm condition” refer to any adverse environmental condition and expressly include, without limitation, weather phenomena such as, for example, hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, hail storms, thunderstorms, wind storms, ice storms, and adverse conditions associated with such weather phenomena such as, for example and without limitation, windy conditions, freezing conditions, precipitation, and flooding conditions.
As employed herein, the term “fastener” shall mean a separate element or elements which is/are employed to connect or tighten two or more components together, and expressly includes, without limitation, rivets, pins, screws, bolts and the combinations of bolts and nuts (e.g., without limitation, lock nuts) and bolts, washers and nuts.
As employed herein, the statement that two or more parts are “coupled” together shall mean that the parts are joined together either directly or joined through one or more intermediate parts.
As employed herein, the term “number” shall mean one or an integer greater than one (i.e., a plurality).
The power pedestal 2 includes the elongated housing 4 having a first end 6, and a second end 8 disposed opposite and distal from the first end 6. A plurality of electrical conductors 10, such as for example, the first and second electrical conductors 12,14 (e.g., without limitation, wires; cables) shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
The example electrical bus mount 110 further includes a plurality of electrical terminals 160 (one electrical terminal 160 is shown in
Referring again to
For simplicity of illustration, it will be appreciated that only a portion (e.g., top end 104) of the base member 102 of the base assembly 100, and a portion (e.g., first end 6) of the elongated housing 4 of the power pedestal 2, are shown in
As shown in
As previously discussed, the connecting mechanism of the example base assembly 100, is hinge assembly 200. The hinge assembly 200 pivotably couples the base member 102 to the first end 6 of the elongated housing 4, in order that the elongated housing 4 is pivotable with respect to the base member 102, as shown in
The disclosed base assembly 100 further simplifies the removal process by enabling the first electrical conductors 12 and electrical bus mount 110 to remain intact, and, therefore, be removed along with the elongated housing 4, as previously discussed. To accomplish this, the aforementioned optional fasteners 150 (
Accordingly, the disclosed base assembly 100 provides a mechanism for relatively quickly and easily removing the majority (e.g., without limitation, elongated housing 4; first electrical conductors 12; electrical bus mount 110) of the power pedestal 2, for example, in order to protect the same in anticipation of a storm condition. A removable cap 192 is also provided to overlay and protect the remaining portion (e.g., base member 102) of the power pedestal 2, which would otherwise be left exposed to the elements.
While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the claims appended and any and all equivalents thereof.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8089747 *||May 22, 2009||Jan 3, 2012||Eaton Corporation||Power pedestal and system employing same|
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|U.S. Classification||361/624, 312/223.6, 174/541, 361/641, 174/560, 361/637|
|International Classification||H01R13/502, H05K7/02, H02B1/26, A47B81/00|
|Cooperative Classification||H02B1/50, H02G3/0493|
|European Classification||H02G3/04K, H02B1/50|
|Apr 12, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: EATON CORPORATION, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SEFF, PAUL D.;BROOKS, ALSTON G.;NAILLER, GREGORY S.;REEL/FRAME:019153/0672
Effective date: 20070412
|Jan 25, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4